In Hip Hop History Today “Nas released Nastradamus” November 23, 1999
Nastradamus is the fourth studio album by rapper Nas, released November 23, 1999 on Columbia Records. It was originally scheduled to be released as a follow-up album composed of material from recording sessions for his third album, I Am… (1999) on October 26, 1999. Due to bootlegging of the material, Nas recorded separate songs for Nastradamus to meet its November release date. In 1998, Nas started recording his third album under the title I Am…The Autobiography with intentions to be a double-disc album. Due to bootleg, he cut out some songs and released it as a single disc in 1999. Months later, Columbia Records decided to release the left out material as a follow up album, however Nas decided to record all new material under the title Nastradamus. The album debuted at number 7 on the Billboard 200 chart, selling 232,000 copies in its first week. Upon its release, Nastradamus received generally mixed reviews from most music critics, and it has been regarded as Nas’s weakest effort. Despite its mixed reception, it achieved considerable commercial success and spawned two charting singles. On December 22, 1999, the album was certified platinum in sales by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). This album includes one of the earliest shots fired in the soon-to-be epic Jay-Z/Nas feud. On “What You Think of That” Jay’s protege Memphis Bleek spits “I’mma ball till I fall / What you think of that?” On Nastradamus’ title track, Nas raps “You wanna ball till you fall? / I can help you with that / You want beef? / I could let a slug melt in your hat”. Listen to Nastradamus above.